The nicest corners are round

Visible from afar, the distinctive landmark of the Ries metropolis is the hall church of St. George with the bell tower affectionately called “Daniel” in the vernacular. A marvelous panorama of the medieval city and Ries plateau delights all those who venture to the top. This unique landscape was created almost 15 million years ago through the impact of a meteorite and today is one of 13 national Geoparks in Germany. Located on the “Romantic Road”, Nördlingen is enclosed by Germany’s only completely preserved city wall with an accessible parapet walkway. Since 2009 Nördlingen also bears the rating ”Cittaslow”, designating membership in the international association of livable cities. Let Nördlingen enchant you. As you know, “the nicest corners are round!”

Nördlingen’s  townscape  is dominated by the almost circular historic old city which is surrounded by a 2.7-kilometer-long city wall with accessible parapet  walk. The historic old city is so well preserved because of its centuries-long “hibernation” as a result of the dreadful consequences of the Thirty Years’ War. With the Battle of Nördlingen, 1634 was a fateful year for the city. Let yourself be taken back to the time of the wool-cloth weaver, tanner and dyer. Very few cities in Germany have such an intact Tanners’ District as found today in Nördlingen.

Visit the mighty St. George’s Church. The 90-meter high tower “Daniel” soars above the old city. The tower watchman is unique: His cry “So, G’sell, so!” still rings out over the roofs of the old city every evening throughout the year. The city features culturally as well as historically important buildings and monuments. Among them is, of course, the “Stone House of Nördlingen” which has been actively used as the city hall for over 600 years. Especially noteworthy is the outside staircase, an addition constructed in 1618 of the stone suevite. Under the stair landing, at ground level, is a chamber formerly enclosed by bars, known as the "Fool´s House".

Nördlingen has something to offer history lovers, railroad enthusiasts and geological tourists as well. Visit the tradition-rich City Museum (Stadtmuseum), housed within the walls of the former Spital of the Holy Ghost that tells the moving story of the former Free Imperial City of Nördlingen. Or learn about Germany’s only preserved defensive city wall with an accessible parapet walk (2.632 meters long) in the City Wall Museum (Stadtmauermuseum) in the Löpsingen Gate Tower. The Ries Crater Museum (Rieskrater-Museum) impresses all visitors—not only geologists and geo-tourists—with the dramatic event of the meteorite impact 15 million years ago. This special museum is one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. Of the about 180 recognized meteorite craters on the Earth, the Ries is one of the most impressive.

The Museum “augenblick” transports you back in time. Take a leisurely stroll to the beginnings of our multi-media dominated society and experience this visual and acoustic attraction. The Bavarian Railroad Museum (Bayerisch Eisenbahnmuseum) is located in the historic halls of the erstwhile locomotive depot of the Royal Bavarian State Railroad. Over 100 original vehicles, including 25 steam locomotives alone—from the small “Rangierbockerl” (switcher) to the elegant “Schnellzuglok” - are on exhibit here.

Traditional festivals and modern events in Nördlingen provide a good mix for young and old. The traditional “Stabenfest” has been celebrated in Nördlingen for over 600 years. The highpoint is the annual parade, in which more than 2,000 festively dressed school children march through the old city singing and carrying flowers. Exciting rides for all ages, thrills for the adventurous, carnival stands and a pavilion with a fantastic musical program attract tens of thousands of visitors to the annual “Nördlingen Mess’” (Nördlingen City Fair). A distinctive feature is provided by over 200 market stands which turn the fair into a gigantic, open-air department store. Every three years the former Free Imperial City of Nördlingen goes back to its roots in the Middle Ages for a long weekend. During the three-day “Historic City Wall Festival” historically dressed craftsmen, musicians, jugglers and artists, flag twirlers and drummers cavort through the medieval old city.

The Scharlachrennen—one of the first and oldest equestrian sporting events—took place on the Nördlingen “Kaiserwiese” field as early as 1438. With its honored traditions, it has been an important date on the international tournament calendar for quite some time. The seasonally decorated market stands, the unique atmosphere of the medieval townscape and the magical glow of lights will definitely put you in the holiday mood. With its delicious treats, tempting scent of Glühwein (hot, spiced wine) in the air and special art and handcrafts for sale, the Nördlingen Christmas Market is among the nicest and largest in Swabia. Additional highlights of the year in Nördlingen include the Open-Air Cinema in the Ochsenzwinger, the regionally notable markets, the old-city flea market for young and old, and much, much more.

For those seeking relaxation, for sports enthusiasts and for families as well, Nördlingen offers interesting and multifaceted opportunities. Cultural highlights and also supra-regionally recognized sporting events are staples in the city’s calendar of events. Look at these varied leisure and cultural offerings:

Guided city tours

Sightseeing excursions on the Ries

“Marienhöhe” outdoor swimming pool

 Indoor swimming pool

Miniature golf at Berger Gate

Outdoor ice skating at Bäumlesgraben

• Bicycle rentals

• Tennis courts outdoors (clay) and indoors

• Leisure facility at Rieser Sportpark

Local recreation area “Marienhöhe”

Golf course (about 20 kilometers away)

• Movie theater “Movieworld”

• Open-air theater “Alte Bastei”

• Concerts in bars and cafes

• City band concerts

• Boys’ band concerts

More information on the individual events is available at the tourist information office and on the internet at http://www.noerdlingen.de/Startseitenelemente/Aktuelle-Veranstaltungshighlights.